I am finally posting the things I did right for the marathon and the things I would do differently.
Things I'll Do Differently Next Marathon
- I really need to do a better job of planning my race: when and what to eat, when to take Endurolytes (an electrolyte replacement capsule), etc. Thankfully I ran with Erin for most of the race. She did a great job of keeping to her schedule, and she would remind me when it was time to eat or take a couple of Endurolytes.
- I really got overheated during the race. I believe part of my problem was caused by wearing a compression shirt under my technical tee. I wore it to prevent chafing as I had done on many runs before. Next year I will practice running with only a tee shirt. I'll try band aids or Nip Guards if chafing becomes an issue.
- Next race I'll make sure to try out all of the equipment I plan to use. I ran with a Nathan waist pack with a water bottle and gel flask. I had run with this before but had never used the flask. Just a half mile into the marathon I reached for my water bottle and accidentally turned off my GPS when I tried to put the bottle back in the holder. I had to use both hands behind my back in order to move the flask out of the way and hit the button on the GPS. I lost track of my time and distance which left me clueless about the eating/Endurolyte schedule.
- I don't believe I would have even completed the training let alone finish the race if it wasn't for the training group. Having a group of supportive people is an absolute must in my opinion.
- I bought my shoes from the Fargo Running Company after having my stride, feet, etc. analyzed by the salesperson. Having the proper shoes and getting them fitted correctly is also at the top of the list of necessities. Running hundreds of miles in the wrong shoes can lead to unnecessary injuries.
- I did a pretty good job of staying on top of my intake of fluids -- both water and Powerade. Our trainers Rick and Jon really stressed the need to carry your own liquids in order to accurately measure your consumption. It is impossible to measure how much you're drinking when relying solely on the aid stations. Most people spill so much trying to drink from the paper cups used at the aid stations they end up drinking too much or too little. I carry water with me even on short runs in order to reinforce the habit.
- I enjoyed (at least for the first eighteen miles) interacting with the crowds and the bands that lined the route. I left the iPod at home which allowed me to enjoy being a part of this great community event.